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Sharp and Toshiba will join the 4K Ultra HD TV crowd in August

Consumer Reports News

Sharp and Toshiba used the occasion of "CE Week" to announce that their first their first Ultra HD TVs will arrive in August. Sharp will have a single 70-inch Aquos LCD model that will sell for $8,000, while Toshiba will have three Ultra HD sets: a 58-inch model for $5,000, a 65-inch TV priced at $7,000, and an 84-inch UHD TV that will sell for $17,000.

These prices are in line with what we've already seen from better-known brands. For example, Sony's 55-inch (XBR-55X900A) and 65-inch (XBR-65X900A) Ultra HD TVs carry price tags of $5,000 and $7,000, respectively.

The Sharp Ultra HD TV—model number LC-70UD1set—sports a sleek frame with a metallic black finish and an integrated six-speaker sound system. The set will be the first Ultra HD TV to receive THX 4K certification, so it will come with pre-calibrated THX Movie viewing modes. Typically, Consumer Reports has found that THX modes come closest to our best manually calibrated settings.

As you might expect, the TV is a flagship model loaded with features, including an LED backlight, built-in Wi-Fi, and Sharp's SmartCentral smart TV platform, with access to streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Vudu, plus streaming music via Pandora and Rhapsody. The set also comes with a full Web browser, a dual-core processor, and built-in upscaling of content to the set's 3840x2160 native resolution. The TV--a 3D-capable model that comes with two sets of active-shutter glasses that sync via Bluetooth) supports 4K photo playback via the built-in SD card reader or its two USB ports. The updated SmartCentral SmartCentral service now supports both Flash and HTML 5 video, plus Sharp Beam, a free app that lets you "flick" content from a portable Android or iOS device to the TV.

Find the right model for your needs and budget in our TV buying guide and Ratings.

Likewise Toshiba's L9300-series Ultra HDTVs will be feature rich, with LED backlights, 240Hz technology, the company's CEVO dual- and quad-core processors, and its Cloud TV smart TV platform.

The announced pricing for all the TVs are suggested retail prices—it's not clear how these sets will actually be priced by retailers when they arrive. Later this fall we expect to see more lower-priced Ultra HD TVs from secondary brands, which could put pressure on the higher prices commanded by major brand sets. Seiki, for example, has already set the low-price bar for Ultra HD TVs with a 50-inch set that's selling for $1,400, and a recently announced 39-inch model with an $700 price tag.

If you're interested in an Ultra HD TV, keep checking back for news of new models, as well as our full TV Ratings (available to subscribers) which now include Ultra HD TV sets. We're currently evaluation Sony's 55-inch Ultra HD set, which will be added to the Ratings shortly.

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